2. The Dude & the Limber Mind
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Following on from the previous blog post "What Makes a Dude, a Dude?" this particular blathering will look more deeply at what I have called the Root; the thing that runs the Dude show, where casualness runs deep, and where the true Dude masters life through deep angles of recline.
Playing at Being a Dude
So, to sweatbands, that's right...
...you can use them at the gym to stop sweat from going in your eyes, or you can wear them as you leisurely stroll to the cake shop to buy several large donuts to take home and spend the day exercising nothing but your eyes while watching movies.
We've got to be sure that we aren't wearing the "Dude" label for show. Because that's like kinda unDude, man.
For a moment, let's look at some of the central tenets of Dudeism:
The Central Tenets of Dudeism
1. To have a limber mind
2. To take it easy
3. To abide
The first of those is the root of taking it easy and abiding. But don't take my word for it, let's explore this a little.
If as practitioners of Dudeism we are telling ourselves "I must respond in this way to keep my mind limber", that in itself is not a limber mind. It's not abiding with how things are, it's not naturally at ease with the current circumstances.
Sure, like a good Buddhist, we can tell ourselves to respond to aggression in a peaceful way, and that's all fine and dandy, but there is control going on here. The untamed hound of the mind is having its chain pulled by the controlling sense of self; the creator of must be, should be, could be, and what if.
Are We Taking It Easy?
If we are controlling things in this way, then are we taking it easy, and are we abiding with how life is at that time? And if not, then what the hell is this all about, and how does a Dude do it?
In Daoism, which is often referred to in Dudeism, the Dude is called the Sage, and the Sage has seen through the falsehood of the self by recognising or realising the Truth. This Truth is not a Daoist truth. It's not a Dudeist one, or a Buddhist one. It is THE TRUTH - sorry for the capitals, not shouting here my friend.
So, what is the Truth?
What is Truth?
In a Daoist sense, it means to "attain the Dao", and in a Buddhist sense, it is to Awaken to our True-Nature. In Christianity, it is to realise the Christ mind. Yet, having said all that, there's a lot of uptight reactionaries in each of those religions, so this darn Truth is clearly something that eludes most of us.
In the Dao de Jing, verse 16 for example, it says "Returning to the Source is known as stillness, which is the way of nature. The way of nature is unchanging. To know the unchanging, is to know wisdom."
Somewhere in the Psalms, in that old part of the Bible that comes from way back when God's dog was a pup, it says "Be still and know that I am God".
And, in the Buddhist scripture "The Qualities of 8 Bodhisattvas", the Reverend Buddha is telling the Bodhisattvas to engage in cultivating stillness, that this will "cleanse and settle all thoughts", he goes on to say that if they become aware of how their conscious thinking is generally uptight and restless, that it will cause their calm wisdom to appear.
So, it seems stillness is an important part of rolling with life.
It appears to be a vital element to realising the Truth. Well, if Lao Tzu (Daoism) said it, Siddhartha Guatama (Buddhism) argued it, and Elvis (Christianity) preached it, I mean Jesus... then maybe they're pointing us to a way of smoking the sacred spliff of enlightenment.
The Limber Mind
If our mind has let go of all the shit, and it's lounging in the hammock of calmness, then I think we could safely say that it would be rather limber. And maybe, a mind that is completely at peace would lead us into taking it easy... and perhaps, not abiding with life, but not really caring about the results and just flowing with the currents of whatever's unfolding at the time.
In the next blog, we are going to look more deeply at the qualities of the Dude and how they are affected by a limber mind. And in later blogs, we are going to look more deeply at stillness and its place in Dudeism.
Thanks for reading.
The Reverend Thomo